There are few things in life that keep you going more than the support and encouragement of those around you. It’s the same with pro gamers. The help they get from fellow pro players or coaches is good, and the cheers they receive from the fans is also a wonderful boost. The support a pro player gets helps them to pursue their career and is a good source of motivation.
Among all the types of support a player gets though, the one that comes from family members is often incomparable to the rest. After all, the player’s family has always been there, long before their professional gaming career and will be there long after. There is no connection quite like that of family, which is why the support of our parents, brothers, and sisters can be so uplifting.
Recently, Hanwha Life Esports’ bot laner Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun reached his 1,000th kill in the LCK. He was the 8th to do so, etching his name in the history of the LCK. Everyone congratulated his milestone including his teammates, coaching staff, and fans. Also during that moment, a rather unique scene was caught on the LCK broadcast camera.
A middle-aged male was holding up a fan sign; it was Sangyoon’s father. On the sign, it said “Sangyoon, congratulations on your 1,000th kill! Dad’s giving 10M Won!” (10M Korean Won≒8,900 USD) and attached to the sign was a check for 10M Won. Right next to the sign, the smiling face of Sangyoon’s father shined bright. It was a face full of love and support for his son who achieved a grand milestone.
There have been many family members that appear at the games. One that visits very often is Yoon “Seonghwan” Sung-hwan’s sister. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s grandmother was seen in Jakarta for the Asian Games as well.
It’s not only the Korean parents that have been seen supporting their children; in Worlds 2018, Fnatic’s Rasmus “Caps” Winther did quite well. His parents traveled all the way to Korea to root for their son. Caps’ dad was caught on Score.gg’s camera trying to cheer his son up after the loss to Invictus Gaming.
Caps' parents were almost as popular as the players during Worlds 2018, taking pictures with fans and being interviewed by multiple media. They showed that they truly care and are extremely proud of their son's performance on stage.
Sangyoon’s dad said he felt so good that he was screaming his lungs out when Sangyoon got his 1,000th kill. “I’m especially happy that Sangyoon hit the milestone in the shortest period of time and that he’s the first one to achieve the feat in LoL Park.” He also promised 20M Won (≒17.8K USD) for the 2,000th kill, 30M Won (≒26.7K USD) for the 3,000th kill, and the car of his choice if he wins the World Championship.
In the LCS, Xmithie’s father is also very well known for his support. Also known as Papa Xmithie, he appears in all the LCS games for Team Liquid and is like a father to all the Team Liquid players, hugging them all after their match. Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung, who had been on Team Liquid until recently, tweeted: “When Xmithie's dad hugged me, I just said thank you in Korean because I felt the family love.”
As seen above, the unconditional support of parents or family is very important to the players. Whether they are cheering at the scene or watching at home with hands clasped in nervous hope, the love of one’s family is delivered to the players one way or another.
LCK commentator Ha “Bitdol” Gwang-suk, who is also known for his fondness of players’ family members, knows how much energy is delivered to the players from the support of family. He knows that there are many players that give up their dream because of their family is opposed to them pursuing the career of pro gaming.
Bitdol emphasized that the support of family is very important to the players. “In the pro gaming world, a player needs to overcome all the loneliness in the infinitely-competing world. I want to thank all the families that support and cheer on the players until they can stand alone.”
All pro gamers crave victory and its truly great to see their families worry, support, and cheer them on to match that craving. It could be said that the players can only do what they’re doing because they have their family behind them.